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Police State - Illegal to Record On-Duty Police Officers

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posted on Jan, 3 2011 @ 05:51 PM

I've been aware of this issue for a while but I had not realized how far it had progressed until I just read the following article from last November.

Three of these states have taken this recording restriction a step further. According to McElroy, Illinois, Maryland and Massachusetts have specifically made it "illegal to record an on-duty police officer even if the encounter involves you and may be necessary to your defense, and even if the recording is on a public street where no expectation of privacy exists."

According to the source article, the states of Illinois, Maryland, and Massachusetts have made it illegal to record an on-duty police officer even if it is necessary to your defense, and even if it is a public place where there is no expectation of privacy. That policy may eventually extend to the TSA which will eventually be deployed at malls, train stations, bus depots, and highways; although they have already drafted their own "law" to exclude videotaping when it interferes which their procedures, in other words - at their own discretion.

In this article, Are Cameras the New Guns, the author comes to the following conclusion:

In short, recordings that are flattering to the police - an officer kissing a baby or rescuing a dog - will almost certainly not result in prosecution even if they are done without all-party consent. The only people who seem prone to prosecution are those who embarrass or confront the police, or who somehow challenge the law. If true, then the prosecutions are a form of social control to discourage criticism of the police or simple dissent.

My question to ATS - is how did this happen? I remember the arrest of the motorcycle driver for illegal wiretapping because he had a camera on his helmet and posted his confrontation with an unmarked / unidentified police officer on YouTube but the state's Attorney General, I believe, said it was utter non-sense. These stories though make it clear that it has progressed even farther and that depending on where you are, you might have no defense to police abuse, nor could you come to another person's aid by way of posting the abuse without facing prosecution and abuse yourself.

As an American it is impossible to know the laws of every locality and state, especially when tens of thousands of new laws are being passed each and every year. How can I find out if I am passing through an area where the act of holding a video camera can get my face shoved in to the pavement, harassed and abused for hours, and then my civil rights stomped on by a judge, sending me to prison for 1-3 years? At least the NAZI's put up posters explaining new laws - these people don't even bother educating the public because their enforcers cannot even keep up - they apply the law selectively when it suits them.

This is a clear sign that we are living in a police state. I just don't understand in what world these laws make any sense and what excuses did they use to get it passed? I mean these laws have been through legislative committees, voted on before both sides of the state congresses, signed by a governor, and upheld by the court system! Where was the public on these issues or were these passed under cover of darkness?

I believe we need a new civil rights movement to put a stop to the forward onslaught against our civil liberties. We need a civil rights movement to amend the constitution and to reassert that we do indeed want to live by the precepts set forth in the bill of rights and that we are a free people and that we wish to uphold liberty above all else including security.

We need to reassert that the government:

  • cannot introduce free speech zones,
  • cannot conduct warrant-less wiretaps or other invasions of privacy,
  • cannot deny citizenship based upon successful completion of mandated "civilian service" to the government as stated by Rahm Emanuel,
  • cannot forcibly take our blood,
  • cannot force injections upon us,
  • cannot deny travel to citizens of the United States by requiring us to relinquish our inalienable right to be secure in our person and our possessions,
  • cannot interpret probable cause to mean whatever they want it to mean and that illegal detainment and failure to prove probable cause is a punishable offense,
  • cannot threaten arrest due to "public disturbance" unless the disturbance has been reported by other citizens and qualifies as an actual disturbance,
  • cannot declare martial law to violate civilian rights,
  • cannot confiscate firearms because a state of emergency has been declared,
  • can never confiscate firearms period,
  • cannot declare war without prior-congressional approval,
  • cannot deploy or use armed force against a foreign nation without an explicit declaration of war,
  • cannot use armed forces in the United States in civilian operations or against civilians,

I'm sure for each of the hundreds of thousands of laws which have pushed us closer to the police state we can come up with counter-language for constitutional amendment.

+9 more 
posted on Jan, 3 2011 @ 06:17 PM
So let me get this straight.

Law abiding members of the public can be filmed in stores , on the streets and driving their vehicles on the highway and just about anywhere as they go about their daily lives but those same law abiding citizens cannot film on duty police officers that may abuse their powers as witnessed in the Rodney King scandal in order to protect themselves when confronted by abusive police officers in similar circumstances?

God help us all.

posted on Jan, 3 2011 @ 06:21 PM
reply to post by MisterMiyagi

I'd like to know what compelling reason was given from these legislatures when passing these horrific bills in to law. It is as if the camera really is the new gun.

posted on Jan, 3 2011 @ 06:28 PM
wow, this is pretty bad. if there is some legit reason to criminalize videotaping a US citizen's interactions with police, i couldn't even guess what excuse they might use. whatever it is, it falls firmly into the Oppression With Impunity category. this is what we have to look forward to apparently. "sir it seems you must be ignorant of the laws of our great nation. you see, any resistance to or complaining about removal of your 'civil rights' has long been declared a step out of the car..."

i can't help but think that this kind of stuff will continue to increase. how can it possibly be stopped? nobody opposed it in these three states? with organized heavily armed law enforcement on their side, resistance is futile, as the saying goes. the mechanisms are in place and we're already in the trap. some of the more patriotic folks may struggle a bit, but the hammer comes down hardest on them by design. the average joe will just get back in line.

edit on 3-1-2011 by Urantia1111 because: (no reason given)

+4 more 
posted on Jan, 3 2011 @ 06:29 PM

Originally posted by ararisq
reply to post by MisterMiyagi

I'd like to know what compelling reason was given from these legislatures when passing these horrific bills in to law. It is as if the camera really is the new gun.

A gun can only really kill an individual officer, whereas the camera can screw an entire department.

Given the corruption and criminal acts perpetrated by police departments, that is what they are really afraid of.

posted on Jan, 3 2011 @ 06:37 PM
reply to post by BigTimeCheater

It seems our friends in the UK are ahead of us on the road to tyranny. I found this posting from early 2009 about the new laws set to go in to effect to make it illegal to photograph or film any police officer as part of anti-terrorism that are 'likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism'. Their law goes a bit further to criminalize the act of trying to solicit information about any of these officers as well (in any form).

In the past month, the UK has bandied about the idea of suspending the right to assembly and free association - and I've also seen articles about police showing up to political gatherings and setting up public surveillance in a show of force to intimidate those that are attending the event - a violation of their freedom of assembly. I would not be surprised at all to see new laws (if they weren't passed in 2010) to criminalize public gatherings in order to thwart the rise in anti-government sentiment from all over the country.

posted on Jan, 3 2011 @ 06:52 PM
Here is a video from the UK in 2007 when it was still legal to film police officers - had this happened 2 years later they would have arrested this film maker but it shows the road we are on:

1) The police have no idea what the laws are - there are too many laws so its understandable that they have no idea, I doubt it is humanly possible to memorize all of them.

2) The police have obviously been told to harass people with cameras - I cannot for the life of me understand why all of a sudden in the past few years and the years prior to this even the police suddenly thought it was illegal to film them - it wasn't for the 100 years prior so why all of a sudden did they start taking offense to it?

3) The misunderstanding of the law (or make it up as you go along attitude) gets support from the district attorneys and courts by misinterpreting existing laws - in our case the 1960's wiretap laws. People get wise to the fact that it makes no sense at all but they do this because its an egregious violation of liberty and couldn't do it otherwise...

4) They get liberty-hating officials elected in to office who legitimize the criminal behavior.

edit on 1/3/2011 by ararisq because: Fixed link.

posted on Jan, 3 2011 @ 06:57 PM
Yes, we've had that for a while here in the UK as far as I'm aware.

posted on Jan, 3 2011 @ 07:20 PM
Well Jeeebus! you sound pretty much ok wiyyj iy@
What is the govermentputting in our food to create sucj nonchalance in the face of yhe looming police state?
There is something very sinbister about all these curtailments of public freedoms once held dear to all of us.....
Lets everyone examine themselves to see if we can find what is now withion our mindframe that even offers no reaction to such laws.....
Is everyone so comfy with the police being in control of our lives?
I think it is time yo start the organised resistence to such totalitarian activity...
Firstly, we need to start taking as much serrepticious film of cops as we can.
secondly we need a wikileaks of film to publidj iy...

posted on Jan, 3 2011 @ 07:31 PM
@ stirling Just curious....Is your spelling and grammar, a tactic to stay under the radar on google searches?
edit on 3-1-2011 by Moose318 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 3 2011 @ 07:37 PM
Well this should be used against them with their police dash cams then. How can it be ok for them to film and not the public. This is straight crazy and should show they have stuff to hide from the truth on how they conduct business..
Why else would they make such a Law?

posted on Jan, 3 2011 @ 07:48 PM
Can you get by the law by posting a sign outside your home stating a notice that anyone who deciedes to come onto your property will be videotaped?

posted on Jan, 3 2011 @ 07:52 PM
reply to post by ararisq

The solution is to record the video anyway and upload the video onto wikileaks.

There are ways of hiding you ip and up loading onto Youtube. Once it is out there the court can't ignore it.

posted on Jan, 3 2011 @ 07:55 PM
Frack this! Apparently it is now vogue to pass laws that are in direct contridiction to the Bill of Rights, which is in and of itself a direct violation of the very Constitution that these "Law-makers" swore an oath to uphold.
I'm sure it will tied to some anti-terrorism crap.

Got news for ya... If I can't use a video camera to defend myself, you can bet your sweet arse I'll resort to something a little more, um... terminal.

posted on Jan, 3 2011 @ 09:14 PM
of course its irrational they do these things and you better like it just like the bully at school.
ever notice how the bullys often got away with it but when you hit back "oooh, that's not acceptable".
all part of the school curriculum.

as for video use an app like spyvid that gives you an alibi.
upload in realtime to dropbox acct make sure to not remember your password (phonewise)
so it dont get deleted.
also there are sites like these
youtube will do in a pinch.

crazy, whose crazy? them that make the rules, or you who accept them.
the sanction of the victim is all "the system" needs.

don't let the bullies dictate terms.

i recomend looking up the writings of Arthur Silber they are pretty deep.

no expert just passing stuff on

edit on 3-1-2011 by DerepentLEstranger because: lack of periods

posted on Jan, 4 2011 @ 12:51 AM
Very fascist - worse than Nazi Germany. Now any individual can be targeted for harassment by the police without any repurcussions. This means anyone who has made a fat cat angry has effectively lost all their rights. Perfect system for rule by the wealthy elite.

posted on Jan, 4 2011 @ 01:18 AM

Originally posted by Progman
Very fascist - worse than Nazi Germany. Now any individual can be targeted for harassment by the police without any repurcussions. This means anyone who has made a fat cat angry has effectively lost all their rights. Perfect system for rule by the wealthy elite.

Only if the serfs cooperate. Take away the camera and there is only one thing left to do against abuse. Bad move for the police.

posted on Jan, 4 2011 @ 01:26 AM
reply to post by ararisq

Yet the police cruiser camera can roll away, and the cctv camera. Equality is paramount and mandatory at law, I would disregard any instruction to not film as such instruction is unlawful and filming any arrest upon your being would be advantageous for future filings. However do not construe this as legal advice. I carry an HD cam every where I go as a Sovereign, it helps keep the playing field tipped my way.

They are scared of cameras because a camera is the one affidavit that when filmed properly causes massive headaches for any legal team, especially when officers act unlawfully or outside of jurisdiction.

The watchers don't like being watched.

posted on Jan, 4 2011 @ 01:26 AM
reply to post by ararisq

I saw this video years ago. What really gets me is that the two of them do not really even listen to what he is saying, almost as if they have been trained to treat anything the encountered person says as unimportant unless it is a direct answer to one of their questions. It's not to say that policing isn't legitimate in some capacity, or that the man filming here (or other people in other videos) aren't somewhat provocative (=provoking) with their use of the camera. The point of my comment is to say that from this little snippet, it becomes clear that whether you are anti-police state, anti-NWO, anarchist, communist, environmentalist, or any other group that sees the current wrongs in this way of things, "arguing" your point of view in situ will never work. Any and all groups seeking change must do so proactively. Try to discuss the situation rationally with these two police officers; try to do it with the US military; try to do it with the police in Toronto or Seattle. Talking in the instant (i.e., in protest) is not for the benefit of "the enemy" (so to speak), bur rather for the benefit of the audience. Violence, as a replacement for speech, will most likely not work either. Speech needs to be well-thought-out and targeted, not haphazard in the instant.

As far as anyone here may be concerned, the two police officers in the video have long since been lost to the message. Fight the battles that need fighting...avoid the ones that are foreseeably lost long before they are started.
edit on 4-1-2011 by Sphota because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 4 2011 @ 01:30 AM
This cant be true. They always say it is illegal and whatnot but there has never been a court case that would uphold such a charge. In US it's constitutional right and the whole wiretapping thing does not come to play unless there is a reasonable expectation of privacy. One state however doesn't seem to get it put can't remember which one it was.
Have to get back to this when I get back from work.

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